Remarkable stories of war told by those who fought for a proud nation. Their words. Their voices. Our first episodes tell riveting stories from World War II, then we move on to the Vietnam War and other dramatic conflicts.
I'm Ken Harbaugh, host of Warriors In Their Own Words. In this preview, we'll be sharing a clip from tomorrow's interview with Captain Loran B. Morgan M.D.. If you'd like to hear more previews like this, please let us know at [email protected]
Loran B. Morgan M.D.:
British gliders are bigger than American gliders. They look more substantial, but they really aren't. They're just huge. And about the worst thing I saw, this glider made a pretty decent landing. It nosed over a little bit. But one by one, the doctors and nurses of the fourth auxiliary surgical group, American doctors and nurses, came out of the door of this glider. They all had steel helmets with four red crosses, one in each quadrant. They had double armbands, armbands on both arms. And one by one as they came out the door, they were shot by the Germans. They killed the whole unit, which I suspect was 14 or 16 people. And I was right beside them and there wasn't anything I could do about it, but watch.
Well, that's the best way to win the war. The first thing to do is wound people, don't kill them. That clogs up your evacuation system and keeps more people busy. Once they kill somebody, then that episode's over. And once they wound somebody, then there's several people involved with trying to save them. And of course, the more medics you can kill, the more wounded people aren't going to be taken care of. And of course, I don't know the word I want, it's demoralizing to the troops if they find out that their medical detachments gone. This happened in Bastogne, by the way. The medical company of the 101st Airborne was captured and outside of Bastogne, and they were without their medical company, which certainly made it tough.
Probably the only other tough thing that compares with watching that happen, is seeing the paratroopers in the trees that are shot in the tree. That's a terrible sight also. And I think I told you that we were being shot at with 20 millimeter anti-aircraft shells. As soon as we got on the ground, they leveled them and fired horizontally at us with these things. And that's why I got all the sucking chest wounds. Because a 20 millimeter is a dandy shell.
The patient, he's gasping and nearly dead until you plug the hole and then they come around pretty fast. Because that lung doesn't function, but at least it's not leaking air. You take a breath in and it goes out, it comes out into the atmosphere. The other lung is working, if it's not both of them. If it's both of them, they're dead. But if it's just one, if you can get to them in time.